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  • A Widow for One Year

  • A Novel
  • By: John Irving
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 24 hrs and 4 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (782 ratings)

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A Widow for One Year  By  cover art

A Widow for One Year

By: John Irving
Narrated by: George Guidall
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Publisher's summary

Ruth Cole is a complex, often self-contradictory character — a "difficult" woman. By no means is she conventionally "nice", but she will never be forgotten.

Ruth's story is told in three parts, each focusing on a crucial time in her life. When we first meet her in the summer of 1958 on Long Island, Ruth is only four.

The second window into Ruth's life opens in the fall of 1990, when Ruth is an unmarried woman whose personal life is not nearly as successful as her literary career. She distrusts her judgment in men, for good reason.

A Widow for One Year closes in the autumn of 1995, when Ruth Cole is a 41-year-old widow and mother — and about to fall in love for the first time.

Richly comic, as well as deeply disturbing, A Widow for One Year is a multilayered love story of astonishing emotional force. Both ribald and erotic, it is also a brilliant novel about the passage of time and the relentlessness of grief.

©1998 Garp Enterprises, Ltd. (P)1998 Random House, Inc.

Critic reviews

“By turns antic and moving, lusty and tragic, A Widow for One Year is bursting with memorable moments.” (San Francisco Examiner-Chronicle)

"Wisely and carefully crafted...Irving is among the few novelists who can write a novel about grief and fill it with ribald humor soaked in irony." (USA Today)

“Deeply affecting . . . The pleasures of this rich and beautiful book are manifold. To be human is to savor them.” (Los Angeles Times Book Review)